spiced egg salad

spiced egg salad | A Brown Table

Egg salad is a tasty classic, in fact I think of it as comfort food. All you need are a couple of hard boiled eggs on hand to make this simple yet tasty salad. During grad school and especially during test season, I’d make a batch of egg salad almost once a week. I’d scoop out generous helpings to stuff between thick layers of toasted sourdough bread. It was my “test -time” meal, my go-to dish. This Indian-inspired egg salad version is quick and easy to make. There’s hint of garam masala and toasted coriander seeds to give it a spicy and mild smoky flavor.

spiced egg salad | A Brown Table
spiced egg salad | A Brown Table
spiced egg salad | A Brown Table
spiced egg salad | A Brown Table

The Best Food’s Organic Mayonnaise used in this recipe, has a crisp flavor and the texture is smooth. I’ve used the Original version but they also make a lot of other delicious flavors such as the Spicy Chipotle and Roasted Garlic which can also be used in this recipe. Just remember depending on the type of mayonnaise used the flavor of the final salad will change a little.

spiced egg salad | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this salad;

  • Always use chilled or room temperature hard boiled eggs or the mayonnaise will lose its texture if the eggs are hot.
  • If you like this a little hotter, you can add 1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce or add a teaspoon of thinly sliced thai green chili peppers.
  • To prepare the coriander powder, toast 1 teaspoon of the seeds in a dry skillet until the seeds just start to brown and you can smell the fragrance of the seeds as they toast. This should take less than 60 to 90 seconds. Immediately transfer and grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle. Use as needed.

spiced egg salad

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled (cold or at room temperature)

1/2 cup Best Foods Organic Mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder

1/4 teaspoon toasted ground coriander seed powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced (both white and green parts)

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped

1. Chop the peeled eggs and place them in a large mixing bowl.

2. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the thinly sliced sections of the green parts of the scallions. Add the rest of the scallions to the eggs and all the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Garnish with reserved scallions and serve.

Disclaimer: This blog post was created in partnership with Hellmann’s Best Mayonnaiseand FeedFeed. All opinions expressed are solely my own

coriander tamarind dressing with paneer salad

coriander tamarind dressing with paneer salad | A Brown Table

The only "Indian" salad dressing I can think of growing up with, was a splash of lemon or lime juice with salt and pepper. I think this might be in part due to vegetables both fresh and cooked occupying a central portion of  Indian cuisine, salads and at least back then, they got less attention. Though this salad dressing is no where near being traditional, it's based on using some delicious ingredients and flavors used commonly to add flavor in Indian cooking and you will love it for it's combination of hot, sweet and tart flavors. Tamarind, honey, chili and coriander really give this dressing a unique edge that makes this perfect for any salad. I've also thrown in some lightly fried and crisped up paneer cubes for protein. I love using paneer in many things other than the usual curries as it can hold it's texture rather well and is of course, delicious!

All you need is a good food processor to make this creamy dressing and chop up some of the veggies in this salad. To grab the recipe and learn how to make this salad dressing and this salad head over to the KitchenAid Blog!

coriander tamarind dressing with paneer salad | A Brown Table
coriander tamarind dressing with paneer salad | A Brown Table
coriander tamarind dressing with paneer salad | A Brown Table
coriander tamarind dressing with paneer salad | A Brown Table

Disclaimer: Thank you to KitchenAid for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

winter black lentil salad with spicy cilantro dressing

winter black lentil salad with spicy cilantro dressing | A Brown Table

I must make a confession, I'm not the best at naming recipes and at times, I struggle with what to call some of my recipes. Since most of the dishes I create and share are often not traditionally Indian and in some way are inspired by my environment and emotions, it's can get difficult. I don't like to name my dishes as "Indian ___" as it sounds odd. Those kind of names bug me as much as as I hear the word "chai ___" but when you go through the recipe there is no chai (tea) present. If I called this salad dressing as Indian spicy cilantro dressing, I'd be uncomfortable. I call this my "noun-adjective paradox" because it can .  So I usually defer to the much more simpler method of labeling my dishes with the prominent ingredients I use in them, I did it this time too. This delicious salad dressing today had me up for hours, wondering whether I should call it an Indian-inspired dressing or an Indian green goddess dressing. Whatever it might be called, this is one tasty and spicy green salad dressing to enjoy!

One of the best things I've finally tasted in 2016, is the pink lady apple. I'd heard of them before but never eaten one until recently. These ladies are a game changer, a life changer, they look good and they taste good. Their texture is crisp enough to dump it into a salad and if you slice them thin enough, it gives you just the right amount of sweetness and crispy texture to each bite you consume. Overall this salad is pretty "wintry", I put purple/red and regular good old green curly kale leaves, some cooked black lentils, avocado (not so winter) and the lady apples. It's a hearty salad and the dressing is very, very guilt free. I use Califia's unsweetened almond milk to make the base of the dressing, fresh cilantro leaves for flavor and color, add lime juice for acidity and fresh thai chilis and ginger for a kick. But to make it thick and give it body, this dressing needs some fat and plain almond butter does the trick here making it creamy enough to hold.

winter black lentil salad with spicy cilantro dressing | A Brown Table
winter black lentil salad with spicy cilantro dressing | A Brown Table
winter black lentil salad with spicy cilantro dressing | A Brown Table
winter black lentil salad with spicy cilantro dressing | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this salad,

  • Any type of kale will work here, just shred it well and toss the midrib out. 
  • If you can't find lady apples use Granny smith apples the tartness works well.
  • If you cut the apples and don't want them to brown. Soak them in an ice cold water bath with 2 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice. Drain the slices before you add them to the salad.
  • I like to presoak my lentils as it does make them cook faster when it comes to boiling. 
winter black lentil salad with spicy cilantro dressing | A Brown Table

winter black lentil salad with spicy cilantro dressing

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

for the salad

1 cup cooked black lentils

4 cups shredded kale leaves (I used a mix red and green varieties)

1 large avocado, diced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 pink lady apple, thinly sliced

1/4 cup pepitas, toasted

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. And toss to combine. Keep aside refrigerated until ready to serve with the salad dressing. Salad dressing can be added and tossed with salad or served on the side . 

spicy cilantro dressing

yields: about 1 1/2 cups

ingredients

1 cup Califia unsweetened almond milk

4 tablespoons almond butter, unsweetened

1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped

1 cup packed cilantro leaves

4 tablespoons lime juice, fresh

6 black peppercorns

1 teaspoon thai chili peppers, chopped

1 teaspoon fine grain salt

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Serve with the winter salad. 

 

 

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia Farms but all opinions expressed are solely my own.

Fruit Salad Chaat

Fruit Salad Chaat (An Indian fruit salad) | A Brown Table

I've spoken about my love for chaat masala several times, it's perhaps one of the most unique and diverse spice mixes that you can find and this week I'm sharing one of my favorite fruit salad recipes over at Food52. Chaat masala, is essentially a delicious and aromatic concoction of spices and black salt (kala namak in Hindi), a few thinly sliced chili peppers and a generous splash of fresh lime juice. It's sweet, tangy with a hint of heat making it the perfect addition to your summer barbecue or weekend meal!  

Here are some of the things I've been reading this week,

If  you haven't already heard of Socality Barbie, she's funny and it's worth a good laugh!

This chocolate pudding!

Homemade Milano Cookies that look and taste perfect.

This rainbow colored veggie stuffed sandwich looks beautiful!

 

 

summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing

summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing | A Brown Table

There are a few things that come to mind when I think of summer. Tomatoes are definitely one of those things. It’s sunshine packed into a ball of juiciness. There are many things, I love to do with tomatoes: thick slices of tomatoes sandwiched between slices of buttered bread and cheese, thick slices of grilled tomatoes or a caprese salad, or in a tomato tart with a salty cheese. Tomatoes might just be one of those ingredients that can provide simple pleasures to to the soul, you don’t need to do much to enjoy them.

When I came across these beautiful “gumball” type cherry tomatoes at the Mountain View Farmer’s market, I was mesmerized by all the colors and in their sheer quantity. Even sorting through them to pick what I wanted was hard because there were too many choices and all good. Some sweeter than others, others saltier than some. It was a tomato lover’s heaven, a paradise whichever way you look at it. 

This salad is very easy to make and with tomatoes as gorgeous as these you don't need to do much. I've added fresh brightly colored chilies for heat and color along with fresh cilantro leaves. I was hesitant to call this tamarind dressing a vinaigrette since tamarind plays the role of vinegar. This sweet tamarind sauce is flavored with the earthiness of jaggery/brown sugar and has a hint of smokiness from the toasted coriander powder. Serve this salad on a hot summer day with a generous amount of the dressing and you'll be very happy.  

summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing | A Brown Table
summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing | A Brown Table
summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing | A Brown Table
summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing | A Brown Table
summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing | A Brown Table

Here are some of my notes that you might find useful when preparing this salad,

  • Use the freshest and “bestest” tomatoes that you can find. If you can find them in a variety of colors, go for it. It will make it even more fun and tasty. Every color has its own unique taste and flavor to enjoy.
  • Personally, I like to start with cold tomatoes especially, when its hot. However, you can also use tomatoes at room temperature.
  • To toast the coriander. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds. Place them in a dry skillet and heat on high until the seeds just start to brown and release the aroma. This happens quickly so be careful not to burn them. If they do burn, discard and start over. Grind the seeds to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle. Since this volume is very small a mortar and pestle is the best way to grind them down. You could alternatively scale things up to a few tablespoons and then grind it fine using a spice mill and then store the ground powder until needed. 
  • If you use jaggery instead of brown sugar, I recommend breaking it by hitting it in a ziplock bag with rolling pin. The smaller you crush it, the faster it will dissolve in the dressing. I recommend trying the dressing with jaggery for a much more earthy sweet taste.
summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing | A Brown Table

summer tomato salad with sweet tamarind dressing 

yields: 2 to 4 servings

ingredients

2 large heirloom tomatoes (see notes above)

2 cups cherry tomatoes (see notes above)

4 thai chili peppers, red and yellow color

2 tablespoons whole cilantro leaves, fresh

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground + extra if needed

2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate 

1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

3 teaspoons dark brown sugar or jaggery crushed

1/4 teaspoon toasted coriander powder, freshly ground (see notes above)

100mL cup water

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes

  1. Thinly slice the heirloom tomatoes and arrange them on a serving platter. Add the cherry tomatoes over them. 
  2. Slice the chili peppers lengthwise in half and arrange them over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves over the tomatoes. 
  3. Take a 500mL mason jar or glass jar with a lid. Add all the ingredients from the tamarind to the olive oil. Close the jar tight with its lid and then shake vigorously until it forms an emulsion. Taste the dressing and adjust seasoning if necessary with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle enough dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the Maldon sea salt flakes and/or pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

coriander roasted fingerling potato salad with avocado

Coriander Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Avocado | A Brown Table

I think of food to be a little more than just eating something tasty and giving nourishment, it's a powerful tool, an opportunity to create relationships and memories at every stage of the process. From growing and harvesting ingredients, cooking, and eating together at the table, there's an opportunity to connect and learn. That's why I'm so excited about this special recipe and post, I have for you today.

A couple of weeks ago, I announced over on Instagram that I would be participating as one of the three community leaders at Pure Green Magazine's website along with the very talented Jessie of Faring Well and Sophie of Wholehearted Eats. Over at Pure Green Magazine, we're sharing our thoughts on food and sustainability and we're also cooking up a few recipes that are incorporate some of the fresh flavors of spring that we love. Pure Green Magazine's website and print issues are both full of fun and useful information on maintaining a healthy yet fun lifestyle through  

Coriander Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Avocado | A Brown TableCoriander Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Avocado | A Brown TableCoriander Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Avocado | A Brown Table

But there's also something else that's fun, the folks at Pure Green Magazine are working on a cookbook that will focus on seasonal ingredients and flavors and you can be a part of that (more details on cookbook submissions are available at their site)! The editors are accepting submissions for their new cookbook and you can submit your favorite recipes at their site. In addition, you can follow them on Instagram and hashtag your spring recipes and photos with #PGMinseason for the chance to get featured on their Instagram feed. T

Coriander Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Avocado | A Brown TableCoriander Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Avocado | A Brown Table

As part of this year's spring series by Pure Green Magazine, I'm sharing a recipe for this Indian-inspired, spring themed Coriander Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad that's tossed with fresh avocados. Seriously, coriander is one of the best ways to spice things up! Head over to their site to read the interview I did with them and a chance to be a part of their new cookbook!

Coriander Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Avocado | A Brown Table

coriander roasted fingerling potatoes with avocado

yields: 2 servings

ingredients

1.5lbs fingerling potatoes, scrubbed,washed and wiped dry

1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, coarsely ground

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced

2 large avocados, diced

1 Serrano chili pepper

3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 teaspoon fresh dill leaves, coarsely chopped

Method:

  1. Place a rack in the center position of the oven and preheat to 400F. Cut the fingerling potatoes in half and place them in a large baking pan. Add the coriander, salt, black pepper and olive oil and fold with a silicone spatula or large spoon to coat evenly. Place the pan in the oven and bake the potatoes for about 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown yet tender inside. Remove from the oven and place aside to cool for about 15 minutes before using. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the potatoes along with the scallions and avocado. Slice the Serrano pepper in half and cut the pepper in thin slices. If you prefer to reduce the heat, remove and discard the seeds from the pepper and then slice it before adding. 
  3. Add the lemon juice and dill and fold until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately. 


Note: If you like this salad a little hotter besides leaving the chili pepper seeds in, I recommend substituting the lemon with lime. Lime can bring out the heat in chili peppers and amplify it wonderfully.

parmesan tuiles with spicy tuna ricotta and proscuitto salad

Parmesan Tuiles with Spicy Tuna Ricotta and Proscuitto Salad | A Brown Table

I decided to rearrange the furniture in the living room to make more space for a new bicycle for M (I already have one) which also involved moving my cookbook bookcase. In my mind, I don't have enough cookbooks (and probably never will) but in M's mind I have enough. I can sit for hours just sifting through my cooking magazines and books, fantasizing about what I might cook for us at home. I try to keep a diverse collection and like to have books from all over the world but strangely enough, I realized I have little to none on African or Scandinavian cooking. Do you have any good suggestions for me? I have several on Middle Eastern and one or two books with a little bit of North African food but I'm always hungry for more.  

I have a recipe for these easy-to-make, yet "fancy" looking parmesan tuiles on the lovely, Common Table Co. Fill these savory cones with my tuna salad or anything you like, they're perfect to entertain with or for that moment when you're watching the Oscars. My one tip, fill the cones just before serving them or they will get soft depending on how much moisture is in your filling and you want the cone crisp when you take that bite.

Parmesan Tuiles with Spicy Tuna Ricotta and Proscuitto Salad | A Brown TableParmesan Tuiles with Spicy Tuna Ricotta and Proscuitto Salad | A Brown TableParmesan Tuiles with Spicy Tuna Ricotta and Proscuitto Salad | A Brown Table
Parmesan Tuiles with Spicy Tuna Ricotta and Proscuitto Salad | A Brown Table

pomegranate chaat salad

pomegranate chaat salad

I entertained a childish fantasy that involved owning a garden that resemble a fancy oasis with trees and plants laden with figs and pomegranates and of course, a water fountain! In DC, I took active steps to achieve this, I planted a few fig trees and one pomegranate plant among others. For four years, the pomegranate tree would grow bigger and shoot out more branches and each spring as soon as the leaves came back, I would tell myself this would be the year where I'd get beautiful bright orange-red flowers that would turn into pomegranates. Nothing, zilch, nada! When we moved, I was happy to part with it and gave it away without any tears. Unfortunately, that bug of envy is back because here in California, it appears that every garden I pass by is lined with pomegranate plants fully loaded with flowers and fruits. Garden envy is a hard one to fight and I have a strong feeing that by next spring, I'll be back to owning a new plant, maybe this time I will have some luck?

pomegranate chaat saladpomegranate chaat salad
pomegranate chaat salad

Pomegranates remind me of fall more than pumpkin spice lattes and all things brown and orange. They stand out with their bold colors and flavors and with their unusual texture. Every aril in that pink fruit is packed with a sweet and delicious tart flavor that is simply waiting to burst. 

Indian street food is amazing and I talk a lot about it, especially chaat. Here in California we are lucky because there are so many chaat restaurants that we can indulge in This salad has a lot of those fun flavors with fewer spices and is one tasty dish. I sometimes make this with fresh cilantro but this time I used parsley so you can use either or even a combination of both, it is great either way. Fresh lime juice, pomegranate arils and a dash of freshly roasted spices along with a few walnuts make this one perfect bowl of color and flavor. 

pomegranate chaat salad

pomegranate chaat salad

yields: 2-4 servings

ingredients

1 bunch parsley leaves, fresh (you can also use cilantro leaves)

1 generous cup pomegranate arils

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup toasted walnuts (or any other kind of your favorite nut)

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

2 cloves

4 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 teaspoon jaggery or raw brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes

1.  Chop the parsley leaves (you can chop them coarse or fine) and place them in a large bowl. Add the pomegranate arils along with the red onion.

2. Chop the toasted walnuts (nuts) and add them to the rest of the ingredients in the bowl.

3. Add the cumin, coriander, and cloves to a small saucepan and toast for about 30-45 seconds on a medium-high flame. The cumin and coriander should become slightly brown and you will immediately notice an aromatic fragrance. Remove from stove and grind with a mortar and pestle or in a spiced grinder to get a fine powder.

4. Squeeze the lime juice into a small mixing bowl, add the salt, pepper, sugar, chili and  1/2 teaspoon of the ground spice mix from step 3 (store the rest of the mixture in an airtight container). Stir the ingredients with a fork until just combined. Pour this dressing over the ingredients in the large mixing bowl and toss to coat completely. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving, this salad can also be served chilled.